I have been so blessed to have wonderful teachers in my children’s lives.
After the horrific tragedy in Sandy Hook, when all those babies lost their lives huddled behind their teachers, it made me pause and reflect on just how lucky I am to have such fabulous dedicated people not only teaching, but truly caring about my children.
Second only to our family, their teachers are the most important people in their lives. People they spend a huge part of their day with, people who influence them and shape them into the young men and women they will become.
I am keenly aware that teachers don’t really need another coffee cup or little nick-knack like this vase. When we make gifts for the teachers, we also always attach a gift card, or something they need or want for the classroom.
Sure, the “gift of classroom supplies” may not sound exciting, but when you realize that 9 out of 10 teachers buy supplies for their students with their OWN money, you realize how meaningful it really is.
Taking some of the financial burden off of our teachers is always appreciated, but that doesn’t mean your gift has to be impersonal. That is why we decided to make this little vase It cost us NOTHING (100% of the supplies were things we had on hand), and it made our otherwise boring gift, more personal.
So how did we make it for free?
We started with a jelly jar:
We removed the label and my 8 year old spray painted it blue (you could paint it any color you had lying around, we just happened to have extra pale blue spray paint):
Next we picked out a rainbow of crayons from our big stash
We lined them up in order and then glue gunned them onto the vase vertically:
The key to making the vase look good from all sides is to make sure you blend the start of your rainbow with the end of your rainbow. See how we blended the yellow into the orange so the gradient stays in tact?
Here is what the top of the vase looks like. Yes, we used USED crayons. You could do it with new crayons but it looked cute with used ones too and like I mentioned before, the goal was to not spend any money on this project so we could instead use that money for a gift card for the teacher.
We added a little bow of twine to make it look like the crayons were tied on.
The roses are from our garden (yes.. we have roses in April! The beauty of living in California)
That was all there was to it!
To make donating easier Office Depot has teamed with Adopt-A-Classroom (a non-profit organization) to help donors get supplies into the hands of the teachers that need them. Teachers list their greatest funding needs and donors can donate directly to them online.
Even if you don’t have school age children, you can find teachers in your area (or any high-need area) and ‘adopt’ their classroom. 100% of donations go directly to the teachers. Donors are also told exactly what is purchased with their donation so they actually get to see what a difference they are making .
If you are a teacher (or know of one who has a need in their classroom) you can go to the the Adopt-a-classroom site and add your request.
If you still aren’t convinced that your donation matters, here are some inspirational stories from students about how teachers have changed their lives. Even a small gift for these amazing educators makes a big difference:
For stay up to date with the Adopt-A-Teacher and Office Depot collaboration, you should follow Office Depot on Twitter or Facebook and follow Adopt-A-Classroom on Twitter or Facebook.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Linking up to HomestoriesAtoZ and these great parties.